JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) — Tragedy struck Sunday morning and the country stood still after former Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna lost their lives in a helicopter crash.
Throughout his 20 year career, Byrant garnered 5 championships and respect from athletes all over the world – including MSU women’s basketball alum Victoria Vivians.
“Growing up, I used to always just look up to Kobe,” Vivians said. “He was my idol. Then I finally met him when I was in college. I was freaking out.”
Vivians met Kobe at the NCAA final four game against Louisville in 2018. She said she left with some valuable tips that day.
“I really didn’t expect him to be that nice at all because he gets a lot of people running up to him all the time. He’s, like I said, a great person and good to be around and just a good person to listen to.”
Just like the world, Vivians still doesn’t want to believe the news is real. But, she knows Bryant, the goat, the legend, the role model will never be forgotten – and has a message for fans.
“He lives in us. If you just believe in what he did and what he tried to… just keep pushing and grind it out. Do it for Kobe. That’s all I can say is do it for Kobe.”